Romney’s Genius Grazes the Stars

I understand that different observers will have different assessments of any one political communication, and that ideological convictions and partisan proclivities will have an impact on them. I, for example, intensely dislike Paul Ryan–I mean, really, personally, dislike him in a way I haven’t disliked a politician since Tom DeLay’s heyday. And that’s why I defied all reason and gave his acceptance speech the damning grade of A-minus.

But Lord, I shouldn’t have read Fred Barnes’ assessment of Mitt’s speech from last night. I’ve been telling myself all week that the two people I should not read are Fred Barnes and Jennifer Rubin, whose adulation of The Leader might reach new heights somewhere along the winding path through the poppy fields that leads from the Chinese Cultural Revolution to Juche Korea.

There it was, though, at the very top of the aggregator: “Romney Aces Convention Test,” by Fred Barnes–not “Romney Passes Convention Test,” but “Aces.” Fred even cackles at the wasted effort of faint-hearted Romney advisers who thought they needed to “lower expectations” for the speech. It was brilliant! And best of all, it pinned Barack Obama to the mat, because Mitt’s got a real jobs plan, and Obama doesn’t!

I want to shake him and say: Fred, Fred, that ain’t no jobs plan, that’s a jive-ass collection of goals and slogans designed to create 12 million jobs like I’m designed to become a major-league shortstop.

I mean, give the speech a positive assessment and predict Mitt’s on the way to victory, fine. But let’s don’t pretend the man is Demosthenes, okay? Time to put down the crack pipe!

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Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.